Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
01 Jul 2014

Important Information About Chinch Bug Damage in North Texas Lawns

Chinch Bug DamageYour North Texas lawn needs three things to thrive:  sun, water, and food.  If you are doing everything right, yet your lawn looks like it has drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, you may have chinch bugs.  These guys are bad news.  In fact, I’ve seen chinch bugs cause more lawn damage than any other insect.  What makes matters even worse is when the first signs pop up in the form of small yellowing spots, people assume they have drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, and waste time and money trying to fix the wrong problem.

In North Texas chinch bugs only attack St. Augustine lawns.  They love hot, dry soil and will almost always start eating the grass near concrete.  They like to start by a sidewalk or driveway and work their way out into your lawn.

How can you tell if you have chinch bugs?  To be honest, it can be tough.  The lawn gurus will tell you to search for them at the outside edge of the damage.   They say you can spot them there, but I’ve personally spent a long time staring at a spot and only rarely have I actually seen the chinch bugs.  If you can’t get a visual on them, an easier way is to check your soil by jamming a big screw diver into the ground, and stick you finger into the hole.  If your soil feels damp and you don’t see any obvious sprinkler issues you probably have chinch bugs and should treat for them. Another way is to shove a coffee can into the soil and fill it with water.  If you see flea-like insects floating to the top, you’ve got chinch bugs.

Unlike grubworms, there is no preventative for chinch bugs.  The only way to control them is to treat them while they are actively feeding.  At Village Green we apply Bifenthrin which has proven to be very effective in killing them.

Even though there is no preventative for chinch bugs, the Village Green surface insect program can significantly reduce the risk of wide scale chinch bug damage.  Our surface insect program uses Bifenthrin, which controls  fleas, ticks, and ants in addition to reducing your chance of large areas chinch bug damage.  We apply it every month or so during the peak insect season and it usually kills off any active chinch bugs too.  The surface insect program is an added cost to our 8 visit lawn care program. If you’d like more information on it or questions regarding your lawn call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We’d be happy to answer your questions if you want to do it yourself.  Or if you want to save time and have us do it, we’d be happy to give you an estimate on what it would cost for our .

10 Jun 2014

Summer Watering Guide

Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TX As the temperature gets closer and closer to the century mark, I get more and more questions about how to keep your lawn and landscape looking good in this Texas heat.  Not to mention during Stage 3 water restrictions. First, you need to water for about sixty minutes per week in the summer. That can vary based on a few variables (has it rained? Do you have a lot of shade?) But sixty minutes is a good basic guideline for our area. The challenge though is the infamous clay soil in North Texas can only absorb so much watering at one time.  Often, anything beyond 10 minutes (the number is actually 7 or 8 minutes, but it’s simpler to explain and program 10 minutes to our customers,) is going to run off which is bad for your water bill and our environment. This is further complicated by the fact that about 2/3rds of our customers can only water every two weeks. Below are a few scenarios based on various water restrictions in our area.

  1. The ideal watering plan is twice per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts each morning.
  2. The second best is once per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.
  3. The third best (and what 2/3rds of our customers are having to do under current restrictions) is every two weeks, with 3 twenty-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.

You may have to pull out a calculator to make sure the sprinklers will stop before the cut-off times and those with larger properties may not have enough minutes in the day to do what we recommend (especially those with every two weeks.) The programming has become so complicated for many of our customers that we’re installing a lot of new controllers that support the every two-week scheduling.  Two models that do this are the Rainbird ESP Controller and Weathermatic Smartline Controller.  They start at about $350 and go up from there based on the number of zones you have. One final point, if your sprinkler system has rotary heads (that turn out slowly and send out long streams of water) you will need to water those zones twice as long.  The reason being they are covering twice the area with the same number of gallons and need to run twice as long to put out an inch of water. If you need more help programming your sprinkler, or making sure your system is in top condition give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn. Our certified irrigation technicians can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible.

Village Green Downloadable Resource Guides

Water Resources

Water Schedules

30 Aug 2013

Green Talks Video Blog: Drought Stress

 

Ken Hyatt, President and Founder of Village Green shows how you can tell if your lawn is showing the classic signs of drought stress.  During late summer many yards in our area experience drought stress, which is usually sprinkler related.  For more information on tuning up your sprinkler system visit:  https://www.villagegreen-inc.com/sprinkler-repair-dallas-plano-allen-frisco/  For information on watering, including the Village Green Watering Guide:  https://www.villagegreen-inc.com/resource-center/

31 May 2013

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) begins Stage 3 on June 1, 2013

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) released a statement about Stage 3 water restrictions that go in effect on Saturday, June 1, 2013 for all Village Green customers.  

Restrictions on outdoor watering go into effect Saturday
for customers of the North Texas Muncipal Water District
Stage 3 drought plan limits landscape watering to once per week, if necessary.  Other restrictions apply.

irrigation1-e1298595437543The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) begins Stage 3 on June 1, 2013.   Under Stage 2 of the NTMWD Water Conservation and Drought Contingency and Water Emergency Response Plan, residential and business customers will be limited to landscape watering with sprinkler or irrigation systems once every seven days, if necessary.  Other restrictions apply.  Check with your city for specific details.

A drier than normal winter and spring resulted in below normal reservoir levels for two key NTMWD water supplies.  Despite recent rains, Lavon Lake is still over 7 feet below the normal conservation level and Lake Jim Chapman is over 8 feet low normal elevation.


“We’ve been fortune to receive several inches of rain over the past few weeks but that was not enough to reverse the declining reservoir levels we are facing in North Texas,”  said Jim Parks executive director Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TXof the North Texas Municipal Water District.  “The experts predict another dry summer, so every gallon we save now will help extend our water supplies.  The ongoing drought and the loss of the Lake Texoma supply is why we need to implement Stage 3 of the Plan, “Parks added.

The goal of Stage 3 is a 10% reduction in water use and increased awareness in ongoing water conservation efforts.

You can read, download, or print the rest of their release by clicking here.

If you need specific details regarding your city visit the Village Green Resource Center.  You’ll find helpful links to all the cities of our customers as well as the Village Green Watering Guide.  

If you need more help give us a call at 972-495-6990, email us at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. A sprinkler system inspection will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn. Our certified irrigation technicians can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible. For more information visit our Sprinkler Repair page.

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